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Media Distributors Introduces Industry's Most Affordable RAID Storage Solution for Professional Video Production Customes

Point360, Shoulder High Productions, and David Sutcliffe Use Polaris RAID ? for Intensive Video Workflow and Archive Solutions (September 17, 2009)

DMN Newswire--2009-9-17--Media Distributors, a leading provider of services, systems, and products for professional audio and video production today announced that it has introduced the industry's most affordable RAID storage solution, the Polaris RAID(tm) system.  Media Distributors' Line 1 Media division will market the Polaris RAID to production customers that require large-scale storage for video and effects workflow.  The system ? at $11,999 ? offers the most competitive price for its storage capacity. Point360, a leading Los Angeles-based post-production and visual effects company; Shoulder High Productions, a San Francisco-based film and video production company, and David Sutcliffe Productions, an independent Los Angeles-based television production company, have all either installed or used the Polaris RAID system recently.

The Polaris RAID system consists of an array of 24 one Terabyte (TB) Hitachi Serial ATA drives.  The 4 gigabit per second (Gb/s) fiber channel system combines a next-generation interface with superior protection characteristics and a dual controller that delivers fast and reliable performance.  The Polaris RAID's e-mail event notification feature requires no physical supervision, and is ideal for production environments.  

"The production community is faced with ever-greater levels of storage complexity, given the high-definition video and visual effects rendering tasks that are gaining in sophistication.  We developed Polaris RAID to create a cost-effective price point for everyday production and post-production use ? from the small independent shop to large-scale, multi-venue facilities," said Steve Klein, CEO of Media Distributors.  "Our customers have asked for a flexible system that can integrate with their existing workflow and production gear in a seamless manner.  Polaris RAID is storage for today's production experts."

Point360 has installed Polaris RAID as a second-tier storage solution for its company, which distributes rich media in electronic form worldwide, and provides editing, mastering, reformatting, and archiving solutions for its television and film production clients.  The company uses the Media Distributors Constellation VCM(tm) workflow system to provide an enterprise-wide asset management and retrieval solution.

"We have created a storage operation, using an Archion SAN, that now has a solid back-up RAID system, thanks to the Polaris RAID product, and we have a high-powered, cost-efficient way to manage our operation as we grow," said Brian Ehrlich, general manager of Point360's Burbank, California facility.  "The Polaris RAID system enables greater levels of security, control, and multi-site distribution for all departments of our operation."

Chris Baldwin, owner of Shoulder High Productions, is using Polaris RAID for a massive five-year documentary project on San Francisco's Transbay Transit Center, which will be the hub for all public transporation systems in San Francisco, as well as the hub for the proposed San Francisco-to-Los Angeles high-speed rail system, which will shuttle passengers between the two cities in under 2 ½ hours.

Baldwin's team is using two Apple Final Cut Pro systems, a render farm, and the Constellation VCM system to manage the entire workflow environment.  The company was using 25 hard disc drives to track all of the assets, which will now flow into the Polaris RAID.

"Our assets for the Transbay documentary will be massive, and we have found a way to integrate not only the complete asset structure for the documentary, but all of our company's projects, using Polaris RAID," said Baldwin.  "We can now afford a solution that would have been unthinkable for overall workflow and archival solutions even a few years ago."

David Sutcliffe became the initial Polaris RAID customer for a groundbreaking reality television series pilot, 'Group,' which was shot in the spring of 2009. 

The production ? shot over a six-day period in the remote location of Laurel Springs, California ? combined Sony PMW-EX3 cameras, Pure Digital's Flip cameras for personal diary takes.  Polaris RAID, Constellation VCM, and the Media Distributors Archive Station(tm) combined for a unique workflow that enabled the crew to shoot with eight cameras, ten hours a day, and include footage from 20 Flip cameras without a hitch.  The resulting hundreds of hours of footage was instantly archived and backed up to a SAN and LTO drives using the Archive Station, creating a new paradigm for reality TV production.

"We had our pre-production 'breakthrough' when we called Media Distributors.  Every other rental house we spoke with described a Frankenstein collection of components, or ignored us completely.  Media Distributors had the precise system we needed, and presented us with additional options of system configurations," said Emile Hanton, the D.I.T. for 'Group'.  "The support that we received was fantastic, both during the actual shoot and afterwards."


Since 1998, Media Distributors has become the nation's largest independent distributor of professional recording media products to the production, broadcast and entertainment industries. Supported by 85 full-time employees, it has earned this position by leveraging its numerous authorized dealer relationships to provide its customers with outstanding service, competitive pricing and a best in class branded product offering. The company offers a vast array of products, including professional videotape, motion picture film, data media, storage, video editing systems, rentals, software, disc duplication/publishing systems and media accessories. In addition, Media Distributors offers a number of value-added services, including product re-certification, recycling & disposal, custom barcoding, consultation and systems integration. Offices nationwide, including LA, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and San Diego.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: If you would like a color photograph of Steve Klein, CEO of Media Distributors; Brian Ehrlich, general manager of Point360 Burbank; Chris Baldwin, CEO of Shoulder High Production, or Emile Hanton, DI.I.T. for 'Group,' please contact Chris Pfaff at 201-218-0262 or


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Related Keywords:Media Distributors, Polaris RAID, Constellation VCM, Hitachi Serial ATA Drives, 4 Gb/s fibre channel

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